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Six of the seven new full-time faculty for 2019-2020 at The College of Saint Rose posing outside

Six of the seven new full-time faculty at Saint Rose pictured from left to right: Dr. Joseph Westlin, Dr. Philip Crim, Heather Fronckowiak, LCSW, Dr. Warren Cook, Dr. I-Hsuan Lin, MSW, and Grace Visher. Not pictured: Frank S. Venezia, CPA

This fall, Saint Rose welcomes seven new members to its full-time tenure-track faculty. Here’s what they had to say about their backgrounds and teaching interests:

Dr. Warren Cook, assistant professor of management

Dr. Warren CookI received my Ph.D. in Management, with a concentration in organizational behavior from Washington State University, where I also received my MBA and my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Psychology. My current research examines ethical issues related to firing an employee for social media activity, and why people often have conflicting perspectives about whether a firing was justified.

My teaching draws from behavioral science and emphasizes critical thinking, decision making, and ethics. I support making education more accessible through the use of open-access resources. To that end, I was the educational consultant for the YouTube series “Crash Course Business – Soft Skills,” which is a freely available series covering basic concepts in organizational behavior and business communication. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, listening to hip hop, and playing video games.

Dr. Philip Crim, assistant professor of biology

Dr. Philip CrimI am a plant ecologist with interests in urban environments and using woody plant species to improve human landscapes. My dissertation work at West Virginia University investigated connections between woody plant communities, nutrient cycling, and differences in tree species nutrition across sites in central Appalachia.

I am a native of the Syracuse area, where I completed a B.S. in Environmental Science at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Later, I attended Arizona State University, where I earned a second B.S. in Biological Sciences with a focus in plant biology.

My teaching experiences began at WVU, where I was a teaching assistant for courses such as General Biology I and II, Environmental Biology, Principles of Biology, Plant Physiology, and The Total Science Experience — an inquiry-based course serving as the biology department capstone.

After leaving WVU, I was a visiting assistant professor here at Saint Rose for the 2018-2019 school year. At WVU, I quickly fell in love with teaching biology, especially to students that were non-majors. At Saint Rose, I taught General Biology I lab each semester, and also had the good fortune to be an instructor for non-major courses, such as Environmental Science (BIO112) and Fundamentals of Science (SCI200).

I look forward to playing a greater role at Saint Rose and serving our students and the local community by being part of an institution with such a strong service-based mission!

Heather Fronckowiak, LCSW, assistant professor of social work

Heather FronckowiakI earned my bachelor’s degree at The College of Saint Rose and my master’s degree in social work at the University at Albany. I am a licensed clinical social worker, having spent the last 12 years working in the area of childhood trauma and child welfare at a local Child Advocacy Center. As the clinical coordinator, I provided TF-CBT therapy to child victims and their families and participated on several multidisciplinary teams regarding child abuse investigations and prevention.

I participated in a federal grant project to implement an evidence-based group treatment for youth with problematic sexual behavior and created a community change team that centered on systemic change.

My passion for child abuse prevention and treatment led me to become a trainer with the NYS Child Advocacy Resource Consultation Center from 2012 to 2016. I also co-facilitate a course for child protection and prevention workers: Sexual Abuse and Dynamics Intervention Training, as a consultant through Fordham University’s Children First Program. My interests also encompass secondary traumatic stress for practitioners and effective clinical supervision.

I am ecstatic to be returning to the Saint Rose community as a professor and joining the social work department at such an exciting time. I look forward to sharing my field experiences with students to enhance their learning, help them prepare for their careers, and hope to have as much of a lasting impact on them as my Saint Rose professors had on me.

Outside of teaching and clinical work, my two young children keep me on my toes! I relax and recharge by reading, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the outdoors.

Dr. I-Hsuan Lin, assistant professor of social work

Dr. I-Hsuan LinI earned my MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work with an external minor in women’s studies from Indiana University. I also received an MBA from National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Before I came to the U.S. to pursue my doctorate, I provided direct and indirect social work services to socially and economically disadvantaged women and their families for more than six years in Taiwan, in the capacity of social worker, program director, interim executive director, and administrator across nonprofit organizations and government agencies. When working toward my doctorate, I served individuals and families experiencing homelessness as well as immigrant older adults in southern California. Currently, I serve as the vice president at a Californian nonprofit organization serving Asian immigrants and Asian Americans, while making new connections with local communities in Albany and the State of New York as I moved here in July.

Prior to joining Saint Rose, I taught a variety of classroom-based and online courses across the BSW and MSW programs in the School of Social Work at Indiana University since 2012, where I also contributed to developing and redesigning online MSW-level practice evaluation courses. My research and academic interests have centered around the gendered work-family interface, with a specific focus on caregivers’ work-family conflict (WFC) and structural solutions. My research work has led to multiple national presentations and peer-reviewed journal articles. Informed by my work with older adults and my previous collaborative research on aging, I also plan to continue aging research on immigrant older adults’ civic engagement, caregiving, and culturally competent end-of-life care.

What Saint Rose values, such as inclusive community, service to the dear neighbor, and education of the whole person, resonate with my teaching philosophy and my social worker spirit. I am excited to join the Saint Rose community and looking forward to working with my colleagues to nurture our future social change agents and leaders. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and traveling.

Grace Visher, assistant professor of mathematics (Ph.D. pending)

Grace VisherI am thrilled to join the College of Saint Rose fraternity. I was born and raised in Kenya, where I received my primary, secondary, and bachelor’s education. My bachelor’s degree is in Education, majoring in mathematics and chemistry at Egerton University. I earned my master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum, specializing in mathematics education at Syracuse University, where I will soon be earning my doctoral degree in Mathematics Education. My dissertation study is investigating how sixth-grade students conceptualize the angle concept in a real-world context.

I am passionate about teaching students for conceptual understanding. My teaching interests are facilitating students’ discussions via problem-based inquiry methods, teaching foundational mathematics, and preparing prospective teachers with a caring attitude towards their students. I believe all students can learn math with understanding. I look forward to serving the students and collaborating with my colleagues in realizing the mission of Saint Rose.

Dr. Joseph Westlin, assistant professor of management

Dr. Joseph WestlinI recently received my Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychology, and I obtained my M.A. in the same field from Western Kentucky University in 2014. My bachelor’s degree is from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Psychology. As an instructor, I have a passion for teaching about the relationship between psychological principles and effective business practices.

My research interests include complex skill acquisition in employee training, absenteeism/presenteeism, and performance appraisal. My dissertation focused on the promotion of exploratory behavior in the acquisition of a complex task, and how this exploratory behavior impacted learning outcomes. I am looking forward to collaborating with other faculty and serving the students at Saint Rose.

Frank S. Venezia, CPA, assistant professor of accounting

I am a New York State Certified Public Accountant, receiving my license in April 1981. I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Accounting and received my M.S. in Accounting from The College of Saint Rose. My career in public accounting spanned over 40 years, culminating in an ownership position in a regional firm for 34 years.

I have taught previously at Siena College and the University at Albany, and as an adjunct at The College of Saint Rose. Most recently, I have taught at Saint Rose as a visiting instructor of accounting.

My experience in public accounting has been primarily in audits of private businesses, not-for-profit organizations governments, and employee benefit plans. I also assisted clients in the preparation of their personal income tax returns. As a practitioner, I performed peer reviews of other CPA firms throughout New York State and currently serve as the chair of the Peer Review Oversight Committee, responsible for the administration of mandatory peer review of CPA firms in New York State, reporting to the State Board of Accountancy.

I am delighted to continue teaching at The College of Saint Rose, as I have enjoyed working students here and look forward to working with more students in the future!

And a big welcome to our visiting faculty:

Kari Francis: visiting faculty, music 
Vicki Hoskins: visiting faculty, English/theater
Liz Espinoza: visiting faculty, social work